Light the fire. You need fewer coals than when braaing steak, but you’ll need a
steady supply of coals once the pudding is baking.
Use butter to grease your no. 10 flat-bottomed baking potjie. You can see a
picture of this kind of potjie on page XXX.
Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in the
sugar (you don’t need to sift the sugar).
In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg very well. Now add the jam, vinegar,
butter and milk, whisking well after adding each ingredient.
Add the wet ingredients of step 5 to the dry ingredients of step 4 and mix well
with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the potjie, put on the lid and bake for 50 minutes by
placing some coals underneath the potjie and some coals on top of the lid.
Don’t add too much heat, as burning is a big danger. There is no particular
risk in having too little heat and taking up to 1 hour to get the baking done,
so rather go too slow than too fast. During this time, you can add a few fresh
hot coals to the bottom and top of the potjie whenever you feel the pudding is
losing steam. After roughly 50 minutes of baking, it should be well risen and
When the pudding has been baking in the potjie for about 40 minutes (about 10
minutes before it is done), heat all the ingredients for the sauce in a small
potjie over medium coals. Keep stirring to ensure that the butter is melted and
the sugar is completely dissolved, but don’t let the mixture boil. If you want
a (slightly) less sweet pudding, use half a cup of sugar and a full cup of hot
water for the sauce, instead of the other way round as per the ingredients
list. My parents actually prefer it this way.
After about 50 minutes of baking, insert a skewer into the middle of the
pudding to test whether it’s done. If the skewer comes out clean, it’s ready.
Take the pudding off the fire and pour the sauce evenly over it. Believe me, it
will absorb all the sauce – you just need to leave it standing for a few
minutes. Serve the malva pudding warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a
dollop of fresh cream or a puddle of vanilla custard. A good way to keep it hot
is to put it near the fire, but not too close – after doing everything right,
we don’t want it to burn now.
TIP: In the original recipe, the
tot measures of apricot jam, butter and vinegar as well as the half tot of
bicarbonate of soda are all given as 1 tablespoon each. These minor changes
won’t affect the outcome of the dessert but for the sake of accurately
recording history, I think it’s important that we note it.